Rule #1: Talk to each other on the field; communicate well.
Rule #2: Fight to win, but fight with your ears, not with your mouth.
Rule #3: Celebrate each other; greet each other affectionately.
Rule #4: Defense wins championships; so guard your heart.
Rule #5: Score early; score often.
Now that we know the rules for the game, understand that this one-flesh relationship we call marriage is all about existing for the other—choosing to live beyond yourself on a daily basis. Giving, sharing, serving, loving, forgiving, blessing, helping, listening, and whatever is needed to give life in its fullness to the other.
This living beyond yourself requires a deep commitment. That is the purpose of verbalizing your commitment to the other’s good above your own. And to carry this out, you must love by God’s strength and Christ’s example. Just as God loves you and is committed to being forgiving and life-giving, so you are to be committed to each other to be forgiving and life-giving.
We’ve talked a lot about the importance of having a personal relationship with Jesus—so that He will be your source for love, grace, and forgiveness.
While it may be true that “Hurt people hurt people.” It’s even truer and more powerful to know that “loved people love people” and “graced people grace people” and “forgiven people forgive people.”
Two passages of Scripture telling of the power of companionship and the way we are to relate to one another.
Ecclesiastes 4 tells us: “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. If one falls down, his companion can help him up. But pity the one who falls down and has no one to help him up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” (Eccl. 4:9-12)
1 Corinthians 13 says, “Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; loves does not brag and is not arrogant; it is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” (1 Cor. 13:4-8a).
The safest way to a strong marriage is to walk in the way of Jesus’ love. It will not be the easiest, but it promises to give you the best possible opportunity to have a strong and life-long marriage.
Written by Andrew Rankin for the July 5, 2014 Larry Langford-Nancy Morris wedding.